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Bear sighting in Kent County

Police say this isn't the first sighting.

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! 

A bear has been sighted on Wednesday night at 4 Mile Road and Alpine Avenue, according to Kent County Dispatch.

John Niewoonder, a field operations manager with the Department of Natural Resources, said calls started coming in about the bear on Monday.

“It hasn’t approached anybody, hasn't climbed any trees or gotten into any trouble,” Niewoonder said. 

The Walker Police Department said officers trailed the bear through The Orchards at Four Mile apartment complex before it ended up behind a shopping complex near Alpine Avenue and 3 Mile Road. It finally made a break for it in the trees near I-96.

A Kent County preschool teacher, Amber Groenke is the one who saw the bear. 

"I tried getting video of it to post online to report to anyone that might of lost a dog but that's when I realized it's a bear," Groenke said.

Kent County dispatch were on the scene to look for the bear on Wednesday night after they received calls about it. 

“We kind of worked together with the police, there's a lot more of them and they're in and around the city," Niewoonder said. "So, they can get some observations and get to places, and make sure people aren't in danger. And we'll get called in if the bear needs to be dealt with.”

The bear is a young black bear, that Niewoonder said is most likely alone.

“The best solution for everybody is for that bear to just move out quietly and get back into some bear country, where he's a little safer," he said.

He said these bears don't pose much of a danger to people, but are in danger of getting hurt themselves in highly populated and traveled areas.

"They are coming down into southern Michigan a little more frequently than they used to," Niewoonder said. "The reason we're getting more bears down here is just because the bears are doing so well north of here."

The last bear sighting in Kent County was in May at the Indian Trails Golf Course. That bear was captured by the DNR and released up north. 


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